What/When: A new program to help people with disabilities and other employment barriers will celebrate a major step forward on Thursday, July 9 at 10 a.m. with the grand opening of its 2,880-square-foot greenhouse.
The nonprofit program of SCCAP, called Growing Opportunities, provides job training useful for seeking employment in the growing local foods movement. Just as important, it emphasizes much-needed soft skills that are crucial to success in any job. Graduates will receive job placement assistance.
Possible news angle: The first class of seven participants has completed almost 14 weeks of a 20-week program. These participants will be available Thursday for interview. One participant recently said he hadn't smiled in a long time until he started working in the greenhouse, which shows how important it is, but not always easy, for each of us to find the right opportunity to feel useful, productive and valued. Growing Opportunities is providing that chance to people who really need it.
These participants have grown produce that has recently started to be sold at Bloomington restaurants and stores, including Bloomingfoods, Feast Bakery Cafe, Lennie’s, Lucky’s Market, Sahara Mart and Upland Brewing. Revenue will support ongoing operation to serve new classes of participants.
Speakers: Todd Lare, Executive Director, South Central Community Action Program (SCCAP); Jacob Sipe, Executive Director, Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority; Leslie Green, CEO, Stone Belt; Cayla Wrightsman, Growing Opportunities client; Nicole Wooten, Growing Opportunities Manager. After these short remarks, participants will have a chance to see the greenhouse and speak with Growing Opportunities participants.
Where: At the Growing Opportunities greenhouse behind Stone Belt's main building at 2815 E 10th St, Bloomington, IN 47408. Rain or shine.
Funding: The City of Bloomington,
Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County, Geller Foundation, the
Glick Fund, Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority, Indiana State
Department of Agriculture, Lucky’s Market, Monroe County Master Gardener
Assoc., Old National Bank Foundation and Perry Township have awarded grants to
launch and operate Growing Opportunities.
Doug Wilson, Director of Communications, South Central Community Action
Program, 812-369-1423 (cell), firstname.lastname@example.org.